Read The Eye of the Sheep by Sofie Laguna Online


"Ned was beside me, his messages running easily through him, with space between each one, coming through him like water. He was the go-between, going between the animal kingdom and this one. I watched the waves as they rolled and crashed towards us, one after another, never stopping, always changing. I knew what was making them come, I had been there and I would always kno"Ned was beside me, his messages running easily through him, with space between each one, coming through him like water. He was the go-between, going between the animal kingdom and this one. I watched the waves as they rolled and crashed towards us, one after another, never stopping, always changing. I knew what was making them come, I had been there and I would always know."Meet Jimmy Flick. He's not like other kids. He finds a lot of the adult world impossible to understand - especially why his Dad gets so angry with him. Jimmy's mother Paula is the only one who can manage him. She teaches him how to count sheep so that he can fall sleep. She holds him tight enough to stop his cells spinning. It is only Paula who can keep Jimmy out of his father's way. But when Jimmy's world falls apart, he has no one else to turn to. He alone has to navigate the unfathomable world and make things right.Sofie Laguna's first novel, One Foot Wrong received rave reviews, sold all over the world and was longlisted for both the Miles Franklin and Prime Minister's Awards. In The Eye of the Sheep, her great originality and talent will again amaze and move readers. In the tradition of Room and The Lovely Bones, here is a surprising and brilliant novel from one of our finest writers....

Title : The Eye of the Sheep
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781743319598
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 308 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Eye of the Sheep Reviews

  • Phrynne
    2019-05-08 15:07

    Okay. Wow! This one just knocked me for six. When it started I thought here we go, another superbly brilliant but totally misunderstood child with Asperger's Syndrome. And indeed so he was. But then the book was just outstanding - his adoring but hopeless mother, his charming but alcoholic father, his brother who tried so hard but in the end had to make his own life, his uncle who wanted to do the right thing but did not know how. It was heart breaking. I wanted to wrap Jimmy up and bring him home and care for him properly. The book is a heart breaker but very, very real. Easily five stars. I loved it:)

  • PattyMacDotComma
    2019-04-27 13:03

    5★“The same network that was in my mum, the same network that was in me, in plants and leaves and machinery and all shops and underground in the earth’s core. It was the whole inside of all living things, but on the outside, and that’s where my dad worked. There! In that refinery! . . . On the other side of the grass and the stream, way in the distance, the flame leapt from the refinery pipe – like the light in the sheep’s eye, it never died . . . The wetlands air had a potion that came from the refinery flame and slowed me down. That’s why Mum let me go; when I got home I was quieter . . . As soon as we walked into the house through the back door I felt my cells speed up. The potion from the flame couldn’t pass through the plaster.”Running, running, running, spinning, flicking his dad’s paper, his brother’s magazine, tearing around the classroom and always being told to SLOW DOWN, KID. Jimmy is a terror and a trial to all around him because nobody knows how to deal with him.His mother has severe asthma, his father is sometimes an abusive drunk, and his older brother leaves home as soon as he’s old enough. Mother dotes on him and helps him count sheep to go to sleep, so Jimmy becomes convinced the light in the back of the sheep’s eye is the soul.“ ‘Five sheep . . . six sheep . . . seven . . .’ we counted together. If you look deep into the eye of a sheep you can see a light. It burns right at the back of the head and it never goes out, no matter what happens to the sheep.”The story, told from Jimmy’s point of view, is about how things ebb and flow around him, how his family pulls and pushes each other, and how the world deals with Jimmy. It’s how he knows when his dad is safe to approach in his shed if he’s had a beer or two but not if he’s grabbed the Cutty Sark bottle.He sees his parents singing and dancing to Merle Haggard and Doris Day, and he seems to relish repeating the phrases from the songs at times that seem appropriate to him but confuse those around him.Today, he’d be diagnosed as autistic, I’m sure, but that’s not the point. The point is how Jimmy deals first with the everyday challenges and later with the dramatic changes in his life.He’s figured out Life better than most of us. Everyone and everything is connected with lines, pipes, wires and tubes. He sees patterns everywhere, joining his family to each other, to the backyard to the fence. His dad works in the refinery, and he describes that as a raw creature without any skin (first quote), and the flame is its ‘eye of the sheep’.He describes his mother’s asthma as blocked breathing tubes and tears as water coming from eye pipes. He never cries and doesn’t understand how people do it. He certainly feels joy and pain, but tears don’t come.When he first meets Ned, his uncle’s rambunctious, happy dog, he notices something.“Ned was hot and shaking and wet and running running running but inside him was quiet and still.”Ned is able to run wildly but not be agitated. Later, Jimmy brings more of his observations together. “All the secrets for survival are in the animal kingdom. Ned was from it even though he was in this world too. I looked in his eyes and I saw the light from the eye of the sheep, like lamps to show the way.”When you read a story about a boy like this, you start wondering exactly what’s normal and what’s crazy.I loved it and am not alone. It’s no wonder Laguna won the Stella Prize and the Miles Franklin.If you hanker for something outside the everyday mystery or romance, try seeing the world from this boy’s unusual perspective.

  • Sharon
    2019-05-04 17:50

    Jimmy Flick is unlike other children in fact, in a way he is a unique little boy who has learning difficulties. He lives with his parents and older brother Robby. The only one who truly understands him is his mother Paula. His father Gavin can't cope with Jimmy and as a result he turns to alcohol and with alcohol comes violence. Jimmy knew when his father had been drinking it was a time to maintain quiet and stay out of his way. Only of course Jimmy couldn't always control either of these things no matter how hard he tried. Looking out and hearing his father's going into violent rages only made Jimmy feel worse. At night time his mother, Paula would lay with him and together they would count sheep until Jimmy was feeling more relaxed and would drop off to sleep. Then suddenly one day something occurred that would change their lives. Jimmy didn't understand change and although his mother answered his questions the best she could to explain the situation, Jimmy he still didn't seem to fully understand. How would Jimmy cope and would he come to terms with it all or would he still feel uncertain about the future?An amazing story that will break your heart. I was a little disappointed with the ending as I felt it was tied up too neatly and I would've liked a different outcome for Jimmy's father, but in saying that I thoroughly loved this book. Highly recommended.

  • John Bartlett
    2019-04-22 19:07

    This recent winner of the Miles Franklin award in Australia was a winner too for me in every way. I would have given it six stars out of five if that was possible.Jimmy and his voice is such a unique and exceptional creation, totally original and poignant.He is a boy, very different to other children, somewhere perhaps on the autism spectrum but with a wisdom and an insight beyond that of his elders.This is such an empathetic story which covers abuse and love in equal measure and allows redemption in the end. All the characters are beautifully and believably depicted with all their faults and sins. Even Liam, a boy in care, towards the end of the story will move the hardest heart, despite his rough and violent exterior. These are all characters who are just searching for love and acceptance.But it is Jimmy's parents (and brother) whose love and abuse sear the pages of this story.Jimmy has insights into reality that we all might learn from. In a time when community and humanity seems little valued, both shine forth in these pages.I had to keep putting this book down. I felt it was burning my soul and then when it ended I wanted more. Truly for me the best book of 2015 so far.

  • Brenda
    2019-05-11 14:00

    Jimmy Flick lived with his dad Gavin, older brother Robby and mum Paula. But Jimmy was different – different from Robby and different from all the other kids. His mum was the only one who understood him, who could help him when his cells got out of control and he started running, racing, careening all over until he was stopped with a big, gigantic hug. Then Jimmy’s cells would slow to equal the pace of his mum’s heartbeat. At night when Jimmy couldn’t sleep his mum lay beside him and they counted sheep together. When he could see deep into the eye of the sheep he would feel calm; he could sleep …Jimmy’s dad didn’t understand him; as Gavin dipped deeper into the bottle of Cutty Sark, the family life deteriorated – Jimmy found it hard to keep quiet all the time so he didn’t annoy his father, and what was happening distressed him – his anxiety sky rocketed and his cells became too fast again. With unexpected suddenness everything changed – how was Jimmy to understand this change? His mum tried to explain, but Jimmy’s constant need to know, the repetition of his questions, demanding answers over and over began to wear her down. What would happen to Jimmy’s world? What could he do to make it all right? Could Jimmy survive his confusion……What a wonderful, emotional and heartbreaking story. This is definitely a book which will stay with me for a very long time. I loved the character of Jimmy Flick and though I didn’t mention Ned above, the connection Jimmy had with this beautiful dog was deep and trusting. An amazing novel by Aussie author Sofie Laguna which was incredibly sad, but also uplifting and real. I have no hesitation in recommending The Eye of the Sheep highly.With thanks to TRR and Allen & Unwin for my copy to read and review.

  • Veronica ⭐️
    2019-05-06 13:50

    Jimmy lives with his mother, father and brother, Robbie. He is not like other kids and his mother believes she is the only one that can manage him. But when their family of four becomes a family of two she worries how Jimmy will cope if anything ever happens to her.Jimmy tells the reader a story about his life and the people that mean everything to him, his family. Although it’s not spelled out in words it seems apparent that Jimmy suffers from Aspergers Syndrome. The repetition of speech, sometimes going too fast at other times too slow and taking things said literally and having a deep perception of all around and within him! Jimmy’s mother feels that she is the only one to manage him so she shuts everyone else out, including Jimmy’s father. Through Jimmy and the conversations he overhears we get to know the other characters and their thoughts and feelings.Laguna has depicted extremely well the life of an alcoholic and those around them. The love, the despair, the forgiveness! A mothers love for her child, closing out everyone else, and her continual worry about what will happen if she wasn’t there to protect him. A child’s deep and forgiving love for a parent!This is a confronting story that is written with compassion and well researched. There is swearing but it is not overly done and it fits with the characters and scenes.After reading Jimmy’s story you will know "where the crying is made."

  • Цветелина
    2019-04-26 16:00

    Ще се върна да пусна що-годе подробен отзив, но сега ми е невъзможно. Мога да кажа само, че драматичните и тъжни истории не ме плашат, даже напротив - винаги са ме привличали, но тази книга ми показа, че съм надценила способността си да поемем дистанцирано някои истории.Ето го и обещания отзив:„Далечна светлина“ на Софи Лагуна проследява шестгодишен отрязък от живота на малкия Джими Флик и неговото семейство в едно от предградията на Мелбърн, Австралия. Джими Флик е по-различен от останалите деца и макар да не е конкретно назовано от автора, читателят скоро започва да осъзнава, че момчето-разказвач се лута някъде в спектъра на аутизма. Виждайки и реагирайки на света по различен начин, Джими остава неразбран не само от учителите и съучениците си, но и от собствените си родители. Неговата различност и бремето на живота на работническата класа започват да чертаят мрачна и драматична картина под покрива на семейство Флик. Гласът на Джими е въздействащ, обсебващ дори в своята неподправена искреност. Разказана през неговите очи и с неговите думи, историята започва да придобива особено звучене. Фактите остават факти, но лично за мен започнаха да се открояват нюанси, които само едно дете (и очевидно един умел писател като Лагуна) могат да ти посочат. Наблюденията на Джими са смайващо ясни и обективни. Вербалното, емоционалното и физическото насилие измежду страниците не губят своя ефект върху читателя, но Джими успява да достигне до нас и да ни предаде от своята кротка надежда, от своето буйно любопитство към света, където всяка отделна частица е във взаимовръзка с друга отделна частица; където логиката и последователността на нещата му носят утеха и именно затова нерядко посяга към инструкциите за употреба на електроуредите вкъщи. Но това, което Джими прави с изумителен успех, е да впрегне своята проницателност, да открие липсващите думи на майка си и баща си да вникне в тяхното значение, което понякога би останало непреведено за читателя.В романа на Лагуна не открих нито едно клише, което е изумително, имайки предвид характера и темата на историята и колко много е говорено за нея. Темата за насилието винаги ще е актуална, още повече пък когато е представена паралелно с темата за децата с по-забавено развитие, към които семейството не могат да намерят правилния път и което превръща точно тези деца, които имат още по-голяма нужда от правилен подход и внимание, в жертви на сблъсъците в семейството и на безхаберието на света извън четирите стени на дома. Но романът на Софи Лагуна не е само за страданието, насилието и децата, потърпевши от него. „Далечни светлина“ разказва за изначалните връзки между хората, за любовта и за силата и безсилието на семейството, но най-вече за надеждата. Авторът добре извлича тъмнината от образите, но по-забележителното е, че умее да подчертава и светлината в тях. Не се страхува да признае, че нищо не е черно и бяло, че един агресивен алкохолик и един самотен здраво работещ баща могат да бъдат един и същи човек; че една загрижена майка, която посвещава всеки час от живота си в грижа за семейството си, може да е една от основните причини това семейство никога да не намери своята сплотена цялост или пък че любовта й към сина й е също толкова голяма, колкото зависимостта й от него. Не на последно място Софи Лагуна ме впечатли със способността си да предава съвсем реалистично достоверността не само на болката на всяка една отделна човешка единица, но и на щастието, което е способен да изпита човек дори насред един от най-тежките периоди в живота си. Свързвам образа на Джими в прегръдката на баща си по време на онази морска почивка с констатацията на Толстой, че „всички щастливи семейства си приличат“ и Ромен Гари и неговата „щастлива липса на оригиналност, защото щастието няма какво повече да измисли“. Какво толкова му трябва на един син да бъде щастлив? И какво му трябва на един баща, за да съхрани последните останки от една много крехка надежда, че все още има място за него в този свят, обитаван от синовете и от съпругата му? Съвсем малко, но най-вече: да се имат един друг. И тези щастливи, слънчеви моменти се редуват един през друг в книгата на Лагуна, подминават страданията и болката и успяват да уловят читателя в капан, защото той знае, че онзи път не беше за последно, че тепърва ще се разбере колко страшно може да стане и че надеждата това семейство да оцелее може би никога не я е имало. Може би надеждата се крие другаде. Щастието, което Софи Лагуна поднася в своите шепи, e далеч по-трудно за преглъщане, отколкото драматичните нощи в онемялата къща на Флик, раздирана от поличбения глас на Мърл Хагард.„Далечна светлина“ е тежка история за едно различно момче, което се опитва да намери пътя към себе си и към светлината на дома и семейството, когато думите замлъкват и надеждата отстъпва, просто защото страшното е вече твърде страшно и изход встрани от пътя няма. Обичам тъгата и драматизма на такива книги, но тази история наистина натежа отгоре ми. Два дни след като затворих последната страница смятам, че книгата е по-добра, отколкото ми се стори, когато я прочетох. Гласът на Джими е настойчив и ясен, а когато най-накрая открива копчето за неговата машина за сълзи – тогава ще остави и следа след себе си.

  • Елена Павлова
    2019-04-25 14:47

    Посегнах към тази книга с голямата кошница на очакванията... а тя ми даде дори повече.Да започнем оттам, че краткото резюме обхваща случващото се - и чувстващото се - в книгата, но е абсолютно неспособно да предаде същината й. Написана през очите на дете "със специални нужди", тя ни показва света през уникалния витраж на неговите сетива и трактовки - едновременно различен, трогателен и интуитивен. Свят, изграден от взаимовръзки и правила, които извън спектъра не са достъпни - така, както взаимовръзките и правилата на ежедневния свят не са достъпни за Джими, колкото и да се мъчи да ги разбере. Книгата е невероятно, смазващо красиво написана и с постоянство и търпение открехва за читателя вратата към живота на Джими. (Тук бих добавила само, че всеки в аутистичния спектър е уникален сам по себе си и Джими не е представителна извадка, а по-скоро обобщен образ).Да продължим с това, че историята, която Софи Лагуна разказва, би била трогателна и разтърсваща дори и без гледната точка на Джими, защото това не е толкова книга за съзряването на едно необикновено дете, а за приливите и отливите на живота и как любовта твърде често не е достатъчна да му придаде смисъл, а възрастните са също толкова безпомощни в морето от взаимовръзките и правилата му, колкото и Джими. Животът е вражеска територия - и побеждава дребните човечета всеки път...Струва си да се отбележи също, че героите са невероятно пълнокръвни и детайлни. Дори второстепенните; дори онези с епизодична поява за по няколко реда.И да завършим с това, че в книгата има не само овце :) (оригиналното й заглавие е "Окото на овцата" и това си е чисто австралийска шегичка...) но и светлина. Много светлина, която струи през витражите в душата на Джими и ни показва, че не само сълзите, но и надеждата се ражда вътре в нас. Или, накратко: страхотно написана книга, която се чете в трескава омая и на един дъх. И с кутия салфетки...

  • Lyubov
    2019-05-18 18:55

    Обичам тъжните истории. Не знам защо, но сред техните остри отломки често намирам едни от най-любимите ми късчета литература. Историята на Джими Флик, който е различен от останалите деца и успява да надникне зад маските на възрастните, се просмука в мен постепенно и ненатрапчиво, както разказва и самият Джими. Трудно е да се говори за толкова тежки неща като домашно насилие, смърт и тотална безизходица през очите на дете, но Софи Лагуна се справя с тази нелека задача. Не е лесно да се определи и точният жанр на "Далечна светлина", това е книга както за възрастни, така и за подрастващи без да е типичен YA роман. Защото болката, скръбта и избавлението нямат възраст.Запознайте се с Джими и му позволете да ви разведе из своя свят, където невидими нишки свързват всички неща, кучето и океанът са най-добрите приятели в най-тежките времена, а затънтената провинция е дупка, от която ще успееш да се измъкнеш само, когато съумееш да изпълзиш от дупката вътре в теб. Обещавам ви, че няма да съжалявате.

  • Ace
    2019-04-24 14:50

    Altona, Victoria, circa 1980? Telephones with cords, dials. M.A.S.H. The Bold and the Beautiful. Chocolate Crackles and Cutty Sark. It seems like an eon ago. Parents smoke with children in the room, children play outside alone and can even catch a Greyhound bus across the state by themselves. This is the story of a special little kid that nobody understands, not his mum, nor his doctor or teachers. A sad time in our medical history. There are some very dark domestic themes included and makes for a difficult read for anyone, but it rang very true for me and having lived in this very age in victoria myself. Medical advancement has changed this scene, people are more understanding of special needs but the other dark aspects of the book, alcoholism and domestic violence haven’t really changed at all. I enjoyed reading this book, but it’s not for everyone.

  • MaryG2E
    2019-04-24 21:03

    This powerful, majestic book held my attention strongly and moved me deeply at times. I had tears in my eyes on a few occasions as I read avidly the story of Jimmy, the boy with special needs, and his efforts to live a life in which he was honest to his own self. I also had many smiles and laughs as Jim and his family worked within the framework of his very unique and quirky mindset. The observations of ordinary family life through the eyes of a child with autism are fascinating. In particular this book offers perspectives on domestic violence and matrimonial relationships which are quite unusual. Jimmy sees everything in a different way, and his perceptions are genuinely unique. He senses emotional responses as biochemical or neurological reactions, in a way that most people could never perceive. The background to the family gradually emerges and we learn that dad Gavin comes from a family of social disadvantage, with two of four brothers in terrible trouble. They were victims of domestic violence at the hands of their own father. The family’s low income also contributes to a sense of helplessness and fatalism, that they cannot overcome their problems. Eventually domestic violence shatters the family unit completely, and one by one the family members, the pillars of Jimmy's domestic existence, leave him, until he is completely alone. For any child this would be traumatic, but for a boy with Jim's disability it is decisively shattering, and he begins to disintegrate. How he finds his way back from catatonic dysfunction reveals the measure of his remarkable mind and his essential goodness. It was interesting to me that Jimmy is not portrayed as having special talents, which can occur in some people on the autism spectrum. He is not a brilliant mathematician, nor does he have a photographic memory or OCD. He shares that common trait of great attention to detail, but his IQ is average and he does not excel at anything in particular. I think this portrayal is important, to overcome public perceptions that people with autism are like Rain Man. I was discussing this book over coffee with friends yesterday and one of them used the term ‘idiot savant’ and I cringed internally - such an unfortunate term. This book won the 2015 Miles Franklin Award, and deserves every accolade the critics heap on it. The story is beautifully written in accessible prose, but with an elegance of phrasing that delighted me. It is refreshingly different from some of the recent Miles Franklin winners, a good thing IMHO. The episodes in Jimmy’s modest domestic life have a ring of authenticity which grabbed me. The small and big things that happen to Jim made me laugh or cry or both. As the book progressed I found I had a huge emotional investment in Jim’s life, his welfare and his future. I think that is the best outcome an author can hope for - to really engage with the reader in a seriously meaningful way. I loved this book and could recommend it to anyone who enjoys meaningful contemporary fiction with substance.

  • Anna Spargo-Ryan
    2019-05-17 18:50

    Book marketers take note: I bought this one solely because of Emily Maguire’s testimonial on the cover. “A sparkling, heartfelt wonder,” she says. I was in the bookshop at the time because I wanted something either sparkling or heartfelt or a wonder. It makes sense, then, that I bought this one.I didn’t read the blurb, or any pages. I just picked up that silly-faced dog and hot-footed it out of there via the bakery.But, oh man.This is the story of Jimmy, a boy who goes too fast. His mind, his mouth, always going. I have a child like that of my own, a child who has sat next to me and talked until I have asked her to stop. A child who might have wondered, maybe more than once, whether anyone cared to listen to what she had to say.So, I read this book. By the end of page one, I had been abducted by it.The rest of the review is on my bloggery blog!

  • Carolyn
    2019-05-15 20:14

    This is a beautifully told story of Jimmy Flick, a little boy with behavioural problems, and his dysfunctional family. Jimmy's behaviour suggests he is on the autistic spectrum. He has trouble slowing down and races around until he is out of control. He never stops talking, repeating phrases and questions over and over again driving other people mad. Jimmy's Mum loves him dearly and knows how to help him calm down. He has his collection of manuals for the household equipment and loves working out how things connect. When he can't sleep at night because his cells are spinning too fast his Mum helps him count sheep and he imagines staring into the eye of the sheep and finding calmness. Jimmy's teenage brother Robby loves him too and takes him out to the wasteland next door to play games, however Jimmy's Dad has difficulty coping with Jimmy when he spins out of control or won't stop talking. The family is relatively poor and Jimmy's life is tough, especially once he starts school where no one understands him. His Dad has a menial job at a local factory and himself comes from a dysfunctional family. He has difficulty expressing his emotions and is prone to bouts of listening to romantic songs and drinking whisky and then beating his wife. Eventually this leads to problems within the family and events take a tragic turn for Jimmy who has little understanding of what is happening around him.This book touches on many topics, domestic abuse and family dysfunction and a mother's love for her children but all told from Jimmy's perspective. In the end it is Jimmy's belief, through all the tough times, of his right to his father's love that will save him and offer his father redemption.Guaranteed to touch your heart.

  • Elaine
    2019-05-01 20:14

    I started this book a few days ago and a few pages in I thought I wouldn't like it and then just like that everything changed. I found myself feeling many different emotions whilst reading this but the biggest one was an immense feeling of sadness for Jimmy. I just wanted to take him in my arms and hold him. Narrated in Jimmy's voice the language was simple but powerful at the same time. There were times in the book when the sadness and what Jimmy had to endure were unbearable. It isn't only Jimmy that you feel for...his Mum, his brother and to a lesser extent even his Dad are worthy of empathy. Then there was Uncle Rodney and Ned....thank God for them. In spite of it being a heartbreaking read I was left with a feeling of hope. This is one of those books that a review just doesn't do it justice. It is one you need to read and experience for yourself. I can see now why this was a Miles Franklin winner. Absolutely brilliant. 4.5 stars.

  • Evgeniya
    2019-05-13 18:50

    Започвам с декларацията, че нямах почти никакви очаквания към "Далечна светлина", освен може би леко четене и хубав превод. Получих обаче в пъти повече, защото това се оказа изключително добре направена книга, в която се намира една любопитна перспектива към специален детски свят. Две думи за перспективата: книгата би била интересна за всеки, които е имал някога досег с дете със специални нужди и несъмнено си е задвал въпроси за това как ли изглеждат най-обикновените неща през очите и мислите на детето. Разбира се, Софи Лагуна просто предлага една своя интерпретация тук, но е важно, че книгата е интелигентно и внимателно написана в това отношение и особено ме впечатли начинът, по който авторката е опитала да предаде не само общото светоусещане, а и уникалната (бих казала в истинския смисъл на тази дума - "без аналог") сензитивност на децата от аутистичния спектър; всичко, което те успяват да уловят сякаш от въздуха. Болезнено добре се е справила и в предаването на специфичното усещане за безсилие и собствената ни уязвимост като възрастни, които сякаш почти съзнаваме и владеем, почти не в общуването си с деца в тежки житейски ситуации по принцип. (Последното ми е някак кристално ясно и като професионалист, чието ежедневние е пълно с деца и семейства в риск и работещите с тях специалисти от помагащите професии.)И две думи за писането: текстът в"Далечна светлина" се движи с отчетлив собствен ритъм, което страшно ми хареса. Разказът е през погледа на детето, но този поглед е специфичен филтър за реалността, така че тя хем остава позната, хем е съвсем нова в своята консистентност реалност, със собствена логика и причудлива плътност на образите. Думите и действията на възрастните остават да "висят" като факти от тази реалност, но присъстват в текста достатъчно, че ние като читатели да успеем да ги разположим и в собстевената си рафинирана идея за това какво е нормално и какво ненормално поведение в семейството, какво е травмиращо, какво е помагащо и изобщо - къде стоят житейските преживявания на Джими в нашата собствена ценностна координатна система. Това е и линията, която ни свързва с детето (ако мога да използвам този супер добър образ от книгата) и без която вероятно бихме се изгубили в аутистичното пространство. Едновременно трогателно и вдъхновяващо е как търсим ли търсим тази линия в текста, губим я понякога, но ни остава вярата в самото нейно наличие в името на идея, че иначе едва ли има за какво да се задържим... точно като Джими."Далечна светлина" не е някаква история с главно "И", която да провокира, да потриса или да вдъхновява за подвизи и социални реформи, а е роман за разни неща от живота ни; силен текст за емоции и преживяване. И в никакъв случай нямам предвид, че книгата е несериозна и вяла, а точно обратното - без да се стреми да натрапва драматичност или социална универсалност, или да играе по тънките струни, тази книга наистина успява да стигне до читателите по един деликатен начин. Бих приела и различен финал на историята. Но така или иначе, аз съм абсолютно и лично очарована от всичко, което "Далечна светлина" е.

  • Mary
    2019-05-09 16:48

    Jimmy Flick has a different relationship to language and the world to the rest of us. His cells sometimes spin very fast and sometimes he has to run very fast, from spot to spot to spot, to stop himself from spinning off the earth. When Jimmy's cells speed up they can be slowed down and he can settle again if he gets a big hug from his mum, or if he climbs into bed with his big brother Robbie, or when his father occasionally puts his hand on Jimmy's head - it's warm and heavy and holds him in place. Mum and Dad are sometimes in love and laugh together but sometimes things go wrong and then Dad gets the Cutty Sark down and starts drinking. Then Dad hits Mum and Mum makes Robby take Jimmy over the back fence.Jimmy sees and describes the connections between him and his family members and the world in a totally unique way. He has wonderful insights into the heart and motivations of each of the people that he loves and what makes them the people they are. He sees particularly that the men in his family react under pressure by turning away from love, emotion and vulnerability.Sofie Laguna tells a difficult and beautiful story in a magical way with the most beautiful language. This book is easily the best book I have read/heard this year. The story is told from Jimmy's viewpoint which is fascinating as Jimmy's view of the world is so different to that of most readers. The writing is so good that at one point when an asthma attack is happening in the story while I was driving, I was so engrossed in the action that I had to pull over to the side of the road. I laughed and cried on more than one occasion. It is also intelligently written. It is very clear that Ms Laguna has excellent knowledge of the subject matter. In the latter part of the book there are young characters external to the family whose voices are absolutely authentic. This is a book full of dialogue which absolutely rings true.This is a wonderful book; gripping, beautiful and hopeful. I loved it and will read it again. I rarely give 5 stars but would give this six if I could.Extremely highly recommended.

  • Diana D
    2019-05-14 18:05

    " Ако се вгледаш дълбоко в окото на овцата, можеш да видиш светлина. Тя гори точно в дъното на черепа и никога не гасне, независимо какво се случва с животното." Много, много емоционално разкъсваща история, написана изключително реалистично. Тя отразява автентично един различен поглед и показва частица от картината, която хората с аутизъм виждат в заобикалящия ги свят.Историята се разказва от Джими, който е едно необикновено дете, живеещо в свой собствен, уникален свят, често неразбран от другите. Той расте в семейство, далеч от хармоничното, но въпреки това се чувства в свои води, защото най- безопасния пристан за него е Майка му. Тя е тази, която е винаги до него, бдяща като орлица, опитваща се да го предпази от опасностите и от сприхавия характер на неговия Татко. Бащата на Джими е много противоречив характер и честно казано ми беше жал за него, въпреки агресивните му изблици след чашка алкохол. Пиенето сякаш преобразява таткото до неузнаваемост. Когато съзнанието му не е замъглено от алкохола, той е мил, грижовен и весел, но нервното напрежение, което често се опитва да облекчи с алкохола, го превръща в необуздан насилник. През цялото време имах усещането, че Таткото се лута като безпомощно дете, изгубено в собствените си емоции, което не знае как да изрази страховете и болките си. И сякаш двамата с Джими имаха нещо общо именно в това- да не могат адекватно да проявят чувствата и мислите си. Таткото няма сили да носи бремето на отговорността за своите собствени действия и често прехвърля вината за собствения си "скапан и шибан живот" върху това, че в него се е появило едно "малоумно дете." През цялото време майката е като стена, заставаща между Джими и баща му, в която той да се блъска яростно. И когато тази стена се срутва, с нея се разрушава и светът на Джими, за да може да се съгради отново, от нищото, а машината му за сълзи за първи път да се отприщи и да заработи. " Далечна светлина" е доста тъжна и мъчителна книга за трансформацията. Историята е изпъстрена с много драматични моменти, които до последно дълбаят в сърцето като с длето. Преводът е разкошен и изразява в дълбочина както героите, така и техните емоции. Много ми допаднаха някои творчески думички като отверткобургия, чуковрът, винтодръж, конфитюрени превъзходки :), които определено внесоха свежест, разчупване и позитивно настроение в иначе тегавата атмосфера на книгата.

  • Деница Райкова
    2019-05-23 14:49

    Софи Лагуна - "Далечна светлина", изд. "Еднорог" 2017 г., прев. Любов ПетроваДалечната светлина по пътя на едно дете към сълзитеНе е за дочитане през уикенда тази книга, не е.А всъщност... не съм права. Защото за книги като тази едновременно всеки момент е подходящ и никой не е. Има ли подходящ момент, в който да прочетем книга за болката - душевна и физическа, за домашното насилие, книга, разказваща история, в която единият родител е отдал цялата си обич, енергия и закрила на едно дете, а другият отказва да приеме същността на това дете, отказва да го проумее, да го обича, да го допусне до себе си? При това - разказана през погледа на същото това дете.Джими е "различно" дете. Нарочно слагам думата в кавички, защото "различен", за съжаление, все още най-често е синоним - или евфемизъм - за "сбъркан", "откачен4, "ненормален". Тази дума се е превърнала в етикет. И напоследък, когато чуя някой да я използва в този смисъл, ми идва наум нещо, казано не помня вече от кого - "Не аз съм различен: вие сте еднакви. " И който и да го е казал, в този случай съм напълно съгласна с него. Защото Джими е различен по един начин, който не дразни, не отблъсква, а тъкмо напротив - човек чете и му се иска да е способен на цялата тази обич и стремеж към светлината, на които е способен Джими.Джими е аутист.И макар тази дума да обозначава човек, който е "извън" "нормалните" неща, извън "правилния" свят, Джими има свой вътрешен свят. Наистина, в неговия свят няма много хора, но у тези, с които общува, той обръща внимание на неща, които ние пренебрегваме - той се вслушва в звуците отвъд обичайния шум, вижда "цветовете" на гласа и звуците, следва "линиите" на важните за него хора. Неслучайно винаги "изрича" думите Мамба и Татко само с главна буква - защото каквито и да са, те са опорите в живота му, "котвите", които го крепят да не потъне. И когато те си отиват, всичко рухва... Но не завинаги, защото Джими продължава да търси пътя, светлината, продължава да се бори по един свой си начин, който е непонятен може би дори за самия него, но в крайна сметка го довежда до там, докъдето трябва.Още в началото ми направи впечатление интересът, да не кажа страстта, на Джими към всякакви видове упътвания. Както и странното му в първия момент възприятие, че съществува машина за сълзи, както и машина за смях, и само трябва да открие къде са те и как се задействат.Не помня кога това престана да ми се струва странно. Може би когато напълно осъзнах, че той е "дете със специални потребности" /още един "термин", който не харесвам./ Защото тези деца се нуждаят от подреденост и сигурност, имат нужда да знаят какво поражда нещата - а когато липсва явен механизъм, тази сигурност изчезва. Много пъти, докато четях книгата, се страхувах за Джими. И си казвах: "Ето, сега няма да се справи". "Тук ще се загуби". "Тук ще бъде излъган". Но той се справяше. И оцеляваше. И продължаваше. Към светлината. Освен всичко останало, "Далечна светлина" е и книга за пътя - буквално и метафорично. Пътят от детството към порастването. Пътят от обичта към болката и страха и обратно. И през цялото време - пътят към светлината.А в края на книгата вече целият път е изминат. Не всички оцеляват - защото по пътя винаги има жертви. Но оцелелите достигат до светлината.А Джими може да въздъхне облекчено. Защото най-сетне намира пътя към сълзите.Наистина сега е едва началото на годината, но мога да кажа, че "Далечна светлина" е една от най-хубавите книги, прочетени от мен през 2018. Тъжна, но и красива история, с чудесния превод на Любов Петрова. На тези, които решат да тръгнат към "Далечна светлина" - лек път и приятно четене!

  • Chloe
    2019-05-03 15:49

    3.5 stars"If you look deep into the eye of a sheep you can see a light. It burns right at the back of the head and it never goes out, no matter what happens to the sheep" In The Eye of the Sheep, we meet Jimmy. He's not like other kids. We never read of a diagnosis, but we know that Jimmy sees and feels the world differently. He feels his very cells collide, he hears the plants drinking, their stems gulping back the drips from the hose. The roar of the mower sends his cells into a spin as they try to keep up, making him run circles over and over again.It's only his mother who holds him tight enough to stop his cells spinning. She teaches him to count sheep so he can fall asleep. He relies on his mother to keep him out of harms way. But, slowly, Jimmy's life is changing, and eventually falls apart.A good read - however, I wasn't as entranced as I thought I would be, hence my 3.5 star rating.

  • Rebecca McNutt
    2019-05-13 13:49

    Shocking, gripping and at times horrifying, The Eye of the Sheep is an incredible piece of Australian fiction and definitely worth reading.

  • Sally906
    2019-04-23 14:12

    I am rarely compelled to read a book only because of its cover, however the cover of THE EYE OF THE SHEEP was one of those rare occurrences, it leapt out of the catalogue and said “Pick me, pick me!” How could I refuse the demands of two such gorgeous characters staring at me? Even better the story contained behind the cover was just as compelling to read. Turns out the two characters on the front cover are the narrator of the story, Jimmy, and his canine friend Ned.I loved Jimmy. Jimmy is special, he talks endlessly, asking questions and explaining what he sees. He can ‘see’ the internal workings of things such as blood moving through the body and the rust growing where his father works. Jimmy can also feel the cells of his body racing faster than everything else so that he gets frightened and overcome by it all, only his mother seems to be able to make things slow down for him. His mother also insists that despite her boy being special he will be brought up as any other child, which may not be in Jimmy’s best interest as his lack of awareness often results in him becoming a victim in the world outside his family. Because Jimmy tells the story, starting as a very young child, the at times, horrifying events that go on around him are not as in your face as they could have been. Through Jimmy we see love, alcoholism, domestic violence, poverty, retrenchment, fear and a dysfunctional family. Jimmy’s naivety gives him a unique way of seeing people and the world. So Jimmy only partially understands why his brother makes him hide when dad starts listening to a certain type of music and drinking a certain type of alcohol. He only partially understands why his mother cries out on those nights and bruises appear on her body after these nights. He can’t reconcile this dangerous father with the one who builds him a billycart and takes him in a plane for a seaside holiday with Uncle Rodney and his dog Ned. Ned also grounds Jimmy, when Jimmy is touching Ned the world stops racing around and he feels peace. The descriptive language in THE EYE OF THE SHEEP is brilliant, and far from the subject being grim and despairing, it actually touches your very soul with its special blend of pathos and humour. I worried for Jimmy as I understood what was happening even when he didn’t, and when a fairly crucial turning point arrived in the story I just wanted to scoop him up in my arms to protect him as he had no idea at all how his life would change. Mind you neither did I; would his life change for the better or for the worse? Well, you will just have to read it to see, I thoroughly recommend this book.With thanks to Allen & Unwin and the author for my copy to read and review

  • Moby
    2019-04-27 14:04

    Ужасна история. (Най-ужасното е, че това са неща от живота.) Но имаше и красиви моменти. По някакъв начин точно контраста подсилва усещанията.Ние и нашите дефиниции за нормалност. Да, Джими не е като другите деца, но всъщност никое дете не е като другите. А и както казва майката на Джими: "Че кой би се примирил да бъде като останалите...?"

  • Nadia King
    2019-05-19 12:55

    Very few books touch you so hard--so deeply, so true--that you know you will never be the same after reading them.Last year I read A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara and while reading I had the distinct impression Yanagihara was mincing me piece by piece into a meat grinder. I had the same reaction to Sofie Laguna's stunning book, The Eye of the Sheep. As I turned the last page, the hollow that had been growing inside me, ballooned and ached. Laguna's words had seeped into my very core.The Eye of the Sheep is a masterfully constructed story told through the eyes of an autistic child called Jimmy Flick. Jimmy sees the world without pretensions. He sees the lines of connections between us all; the power and the pulse of life around us; and heartbreakingly, the absurdness and cruelty of human relationships.The story opens on a Saturday morning with Jimmy waiting for his dad to wake up. This act in itself is symbolism at its very best.Laguna had me laughing, clapping my hands in delight at her wonderful prose and then ugly crying, leaking tears all over the place.If you haven't read The Eye of the Sheep published in 2014, short-listed for the Stella Prize and winner of the 2015 Miles Franklin Award, do yourself a favour and read it soon. Read it before Laguna's next book, Choke is released later this year.

  • Valerie
    2019-05-23 15:07

    I experienced every emotion in this book, brilliantly told through the observations of the young boy Jimmy Flick, who experiences life a little differently to others. Although many relationships in Jimmy's circle were highly dysfunctional, others were very tender and heart-warming. This is one of those books I am sure will stay with me.

  • Asya Pavlova
    2019-05-10 13:10

    ъмм ... като си събера мислите, може и да понапиша нещо повече ...

  • Jennifer (JC-S)
    2019-04-26 21:14

    Jimmy Flick is different from other boys. He perceives and interprets things differently, trying hard to understand the feelings and emotions of others. His mum, Paula, is the only person who can handle him, and has taught him how to get to sleep by counting sheep. His dad, Gavin tries —sometimes—to understand him, but can’t. Jimmy’s older brother Robby keeps him away from their father when he has been drinking. Jimmy doesn’t recognise—usually— the danger.‘When I was slow I should have been fast, and when I was fast I should have been slow.’The Flick house is a difficult one. Even without the challenges posed by Jimmy, there’s little money to meet the family’s needs. And alcohol can so easily fuel domestic violence. When Robby is old enough to escape, he does, leaving Jimmy with his parents. But Robby’s presence is part of the glue that has held this family together. How will Gavin, Paula and Jimmy manage without him?‘The house was thick and heavy with the quiet we were keeping.’‘I was too fast for my skin to hold.’Jimmy tells the story as he sees it, but he is not the most reliable narrator. Jimmy cannot read events, only report them. He is vulnerable and usually unable to seek help when he needs it. So what happens to Jimmy when the world he knows changes dramatically? ‘I went into the sitting room and turned on the television and it gave the house some friends.’What can I say about this novel? Read it, if you can, without spoilers. It’s the best way to get into Jimmy’s point of view and to understand his perspective. At times it’s a heartbreakingly sad read, but it is never without hope. Jimmy Flick may be an unreliable narrator, but his voice is very real.Jennifer Cameron-Smith

  • Nisha-Anne
    2019-05-17 17:06

    Amazing amazing novel.I couldn't believe how well it was written, how beautiful and intelligent and skilful. How wonderfully recognisably Australian. Every time I picked this up, I fell into it and didn't want to come out. Even when it was tearing me apart, seeing this family I cared so much about tearing itself apart, I did not and could not stop.For a while, I feared the lack of a happy ending. It felt so real and I didn't know yet whether I could trust Sofie Laguna to give me that. It was a relatively traumatic journey to that happy ending but worth it. So so glad the Miles Franklin committee got it right at least this one time. And especially glad it was a woman writer this time.

  • Sonia Nair
    2019-04-29 15:11

    Reading Sofie Laguna in reverse, I am struck by how effortlessly she inhabits the voice of children that lie on the fringes of society, children no one pays any attention to. As with The Choke, The Eye of the Sheep is a heavy, deeply affecting book that depicts the intersection between alcoholism, domestic violence and neglect. Jimmy is a compelling central character who frames everything that happens to him with astonishing clarity; sometimes the only thing that makes sense in his dicombobulated world is the way in which he responds to the unspeakable violence around him.

  • Kathy Parker
    2019-05-06 19:51

    One of the most amazing books I've read. Such beautiful, breathtaking language and imagery. Incredible emotion portrayed through the characters, and especially through the mind of Jimmy. Brilliant use of writing in the negative space, we discover so much from things left unsaid as much as things said out loud. Just a profound, awe-inspiring book that I will always treasure on my shelf.

  • Tony Wilson
    2019-05-01 19:56

    It's my great pleasure to be launching Sofie Laguna's second novel at Readings tonight. I've enjoyed all her novels, from 'Bird and Sugar Boy' to the bleaker territory she's explored in 'One Foot Wrong' and now 'The Eye of the Sheep'. She language in this book is beautiful, as always, and she inventively and unpretentiously inhabits the character of a special boy who 'sees' the internal workings of things. Whether it be the human body, the rusting pipes at his father's work, the rolling ocean, or the skies and stars, Jimmy describes a weird and wonderful constructive order that makes him an unforgettable character. I've never much liked the Frank McCourt dominated genre of 'domestic violence memoir', but 'The Eye of the Sheep', which has those terrible cycles of alcohol and violence at its grim heart, benefits from warm and touching moments: fishing with Uncle Rodney, billycarts with Dad; even the conspiracy with the truly terrifying Liam to steal the bus money - all part of the light and shade that makes this novel work. Well done Sofie. You are a star.